A Participatory-Based Research Approach for Assessing Exposure to Lead-Contaminated Drinking Water in the Houston Neighborhood of the Greater Fifth Ward

Leanne S. Fawkes, Thomas J. McDonald, Taehyun Roh, Weihsueh A. Chiu, Robert J. Taylor, Garett T. Sansom

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

To address community-driven concerns about lead-contaminated drinking water in residential homes in the Greater Fifth Ward neighborhood in Northeast Houston, Texas utilizing participatory-based research. The study collected survey data and performed lead analysis on drinking water from residents’ homes. The Greater Fifth Ward is characterized as a majority-minority environmental justice community and is located within two confirmed cancer clusters. The residents of 172 homes completed a survey and had detectable lead levels in their water samples. Survey results indicated that more than half of the residents (58.2%) were concerned with the water quality and 42.9% rated the drinking water as poor. Water lead levels detected ranged from 0.01 to 22 µg/L. 10.9% of homes exceeding 1 µg/L, and one located exceeded the USEPA’s action limit of 15 µg/L. Homes built prior to 1978 without major renovation had significantly higher levels of lead in their drinking water compared to homes built after 1978 (p-value < 0.05). These findings demonstrate the need for lead testing of residential water in low socioeconomic-status communities, as well as demonstrating the benefits of community engagement and participatory research to address environmental health concerns.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number8135
JournalInternational journal of environmental research and public health
Volume19
Issue number13
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2022

Keywords

  • drinking water
  • environmental health
  • environmental justice
  • lead contamination
  • participatory-based research

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pollution
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'A Participatory-Based Research Approach for Assessing Exposure to Lead-Contaminated Drinking Water in the Houston Neighborhood of the Greater Fifth Ward'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this